The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has said that it would be unfair to the people of the state for Senator Hope Uzodimma, to be recycled as next governor of the state during the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The spokesperson of the party in the state, Collins Opurozor, who made the remark at a press conference in Owerri, the state capital on Thursday, called on Governor Uzodimma not to present himself for re-election.
The PDP faulted the governor’s interview on Wednesday on Channels TV where he was quoted as saying that the state was in a cemetery as of the time, he took overpower in 2020. Opurozor, said that judging by the governor’s performance since he assumed office, it was unfair for the “state to recycle an administration that had infiltrated so much poverty and pain to the people of the state”.
He said that before the governor took over the reigns of power, the state was secured and was doing well in all indices of social and economic developments, Opurozor said that the state was unsecured and the most indebted state in the Southeast.
He said “Something unusual has started to happen in Imo State since last week. The outgoing government of Senator Hope Uzodinma has finally embarked on a campaign of misinformation, lies and deceit as its only strategy to attempt the uphill and impossible task of its re-election in November. Indeed, those who are poor in governance are always rich in propaganda.
“A few days ago, the Commissioner for Information went to town with a falsehood, that our Party had concluded plans to organize a protest in Abuja over the festering insecurity in the State. As if that was not enough, the same Commissioner visited a local radio station in Owerri to blame the opposition for the indefensible failure of the Uzodimma-led government to fulfill the primary purpose of political governance, which is the security of lives and property.
“At last, the governor, Senator Uzodimma, was on national television last night to advance such false narratives. It, therefore, becomes necessary that we respond to the issues.
“Senator Uzodinma said he met Imo in a cemetery when he became governor in 2020. But the truth is that Imo state was a paradise before his coming. Charmed by the glory he saw, Senator Uzodimma, while taking his oath of office, vowed to continue with all the lofty initiatives of the past PDP administration. Unfortunately, he has now plunged Imo into a cemetery. A state that knew no violence is now a city of blood and valley of death.
“More than half of Imo territory is presently under the occupation of bandits, terrorists, kidnappers, and other non-state actors who levy death upon Imo people day after day. Farmers have abandoned their farmlands and the logical outcome has been unprecedented rise in poverty and starvation, including crime.
“It is shameful that while Imo people are slaughtered daily by terrorists, the only thing Senator Uzodimma thinks of is how to politicize and profit from the unfortunate situation. It is irresponsible that a government would seek to frame its perceived foes with insecurity, which it has an obligation to solve.
“Equity demands that Senator Uzodimma should not present himself as a candidate in the forthcoming governorship election, since he hails from Orlu Zone that has held power for twenty years in the last twenty-four years. Those backing his inordinate ambition do not mean well for the State, and they must stop forthwith.
“It is worrisome that health prospects in Imo are getting poorer every day in view of the failure of this government to formulate health policy for nearly four years. In 2019, Imo had an unemployment rate of 28%. But today, the State has become the unemployment capital of Nigeria with over 60% unemployment rate. This is disastrous, and it is at the heart of the insecurity in the State, because when people find a pathway out of poverty, they can hardly resort to crime. Imo has gone to the dogs!
“To be sure, our State stood above national average in all the indicators of social wellbeing before this pestilence of bad governance came upon us. Now, Imo occupies the top positions in all the indices of social misery. Worse still, the local government system, which is a mechanism put in place by law to expand and sustain the democratic space and to spread democratic values, has been destroyed in Imo.
“This is a huge tragedy! Imo is a state that has over seventy percent of her entire population living in the rural areas. Yet, the only channel through which governance can be delivered to the people has been completely run aground.
“Senator Uzodinma must, without any further delay, tell the people the whereabouts of the N206 billion he has received belonging to the Local Governments.
“Furthermore, this failed government, which has made incessant borrowings a state policy, has now sent Imo into irredeemable debt slavery. Make no mistakes, debt instruments are supposed to be development tools which governments deploy for raising the financial and socio-economic wellbeing of their entities.
“The implication is that loans are invariably obtained so as to invest in those programs, initiatives and projects which have the prospect of turning around the economic circumstances of the borrowing entities and affording them the capacity not just to repay in future but also to create sustainable growth.
“Fact to be noted is that Imo is presently the most indebted Igbo state, with a debt profile which stands at N240 billion. That means that the regime of Senator Uzodinma has doubled the debt profile in the last three years. And the fundamental question is: “What has the regime done with over N130 billion it has borrowed so far”?
“It is curious that in all of the landmark borrowings by Senator Uzodinma, no effort has been made to redraw the industrial landscape of the State by re-jigging investments in the hugely vital agro-industrial sector where Imo has major comparative advantage. Adapalm has remained moribund, Imo Rubber Estates and Avutu Poultry Farm have remained comatose.
“Equally, Nsu Tiles Company, Umuna Bricks Factory, Egbema Power Plant and Inyishi Aluminium Extrusion Plant are some key investments with the capacity to rev-up the local economy and employ a vast majority of the teeming unemployed Imo youths. Yet, they have been left to rot away, even when Imo youths under this anti-people regime roam the streets without jobs.
“We, therefore, call on Imolites to continue to discard every misinformation being peddled by the outgoing government. Imo people must never reinforce failure. Everyone in the State should now come out, join hands with PDP and participate in the electoral process, with a clear and patriotic objective of permanently sending this failed regime packing in November, so as to reclaim our State and make it safe again with Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
“This is what we owe ourselves for the sake of our collective survival. This is what we owe our generations yet unborn. The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.” But the state government said that the PDP in the state had yet to recover from the massive defeats it suffered in the hands of the All Progressives Congress in the last elections in the state.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Public Communications, Collins Ughalaa, said that the people of the state were at home with the performance indices of the state governor, adding that Uzodimma would be re-elected come November 11.